Beauty Store

The Beauty Store Blow-Off

Being fat is an exercise in invisibility.

When you enter a clothing store, you’re invisible. A social gathering? Invisible. Online dating? Invisible.

There are, however, a few places I’ve never had a problem being invisible. I don’t feel invisible when I go into a cooking store. (Maybe they think I’m going to buy up the place?) I’ve also never felt invisible in a beauty store or a makeup counter – until today.

I live in California, the land of the good looks. Being overweight is the number one cardinal sin here, but leaving your house without lipstick might qualify as a close second.

Today, I went into Sephora to grab another tube of primer. (Side note – I am ADDICTED to Smashbox’s Photo FInish Color Correcting Primer.) I usually like to think of Sephora as the makeup store for the people. No pushy salespeople trying to sell you the PERFECT blush color to go with that lip shade, and best of all, they let you try everything! Whenever I go, I try to go sans-makeup, or with as little on as possible, so I can try different new items. I usually walk out with at least one item I hadn’t planned on purchasing.

Well, today’s visit was different. I headed straight to the Smashbox section to seek out my fave primer. Unfortunately, it was out of stock on the shelf, so I found an employee and asked if they had any in back. She gave me one of the oh-so-familiar up-and-down looks of silent judgement, then smiled a sickly sweet fake smile and said she’d check in back. In the meantime, I wandered around the store, trying different lip colors and eye shadows, waiting for her return.

After  a few minutes, I had made my way into the back, where their higher displays of skincare are. I was perusing the newest creams when I heard a discussion between two store employees.

Employee 1: “Which one is she? I didn’t see anyone up by the Smashbox display.”

Employee 2: “Oh, yeah, she’s not up there now. Just look around for the fat one. You’ll know you’ve found her when you find the one primer won’t help.”

Employee 1: (laughs)

They didn’t bother to know that I’ve lost 40 pounds since starting this journey. They didn’t bother to know that my skin is freaking out right now because of my changing hormones and nutrition, and not from donuts and cheese fries. They didn’t bother to take into consideration the fact that they can help almost every woman feel beautiful, despite whatever demons she’s personally battling – with her weight, her looks, and her emotions.

I was mortified. I booked it out of there immediately. I vow never to return to another Sephora; Amazon is my friend, even though the company may be the devil.

Anyone else have a similar run-in with a salesperson in a store?